SERIES: Campaign 2012 Events | No. 1 of 11 Next »

Jan 19

Past Event

Campaign 2012: Twelve Challenges Facing the Next President

Event Materials



  • Budget Deficit Most Pressing National Problem

    Ron Haskins: The budget deficit is the nation''s most pressing problem. While the solutions are known, both sides need to compromise.

    Ron Haskins

  • Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

    Kenneth Duberstein, The Duberstein Group: There are things we know about the 2012 presidential election, and there are things we don’t know. But one of the things we know for sure is that people are concerned about jobs, jobs, jobs.

  • Can Lawmakers Work Together?

    John Harris, Politico: The 2012 election won’t likely result in a government that’s united and on the same page, but will we see Congress come together to resolve some of our greatest challenges?

  • Serious Sacrifice to Close the Fiscal Gap

    William Gale: Spending needs to go down and taxes need to go up by a combined 6 or 7% of output, or a trillion dollars per year, to close the fiscal gap.

    William G. Gale

  • It’s Time For Shared Sacrifice

    Isabel Sawhill: The economic recovery is going to be long, sluggish and painful and we, as a nation, need to accept that this is a time for shared sacrifice. Our policies going forward can’t be allowed to undermine the recovery.

    Isabel V. Sawhill

  • The Nation’s Most Pressing Concerns

    Benjamin Wittes: Our Campaign 2012 project provides answers for the question; ”What should the next administration do?”

    Benjamin Wittes

Full Event


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The 2012 presidential campaign is well underway, with Republican primaries already winnowing the field of challengers vying to compete against incumbent president Barack Obama. As the nation struggles with high unemployment, record budget deficits and questions about its future role as a world power, immense challenges await the next president of the United States. But too often, public discussions about the presidential campaign focus on polls and sound bites rather than ideas and information.

On January 19, the Brookings Institution officially launched Campaign 2012, a new project that will identify and address the 12 most critical issues facing the next president. Campaign 2012 will provide recommendations from Brookings experts on the pressing policy challenges facing America in a series of forums over the coming months. Speakers at the first event discussed the key issues of 2012 with a particular focus on the federal budget deficit. The event featured opening remarks from Kenneth Duberstein, former chief of staff to President Ronald Reagan and co-chairman of Brookings’s Opportunity 08 project in the last presidential cycle. Senior Fellow Benjamin Wittes, director of Campaign 2012, introduced the project and John F. Harris, POLITICO editor-in-chief, moderated a panel discussion with Brookings Senior Fellows Ron Haskins, Isabel Sawhill, and William Gale.

After the program, panelists took questions from the audience.

This event was live tweeted using the hashtag #BIdeficit and on our @BICampaign2012 Twitter feed.

Download papers from the event:

Event Agenda


January 19, 2012

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM EST

The Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications

(202) 797-6105

SERIES: Campaign 2012 Events | No. 1